Three years ago, twelve people who hadn't met came together, bound by an unusual thread: They lived out and proud in their West Virginia communities. And they decided to build something.
Fairness WV: From Secret Meetings to Equality Gala In Three YearsFollow @freedom2marry
They met in Morgantown, WV, in a classroom at West Virginia University, twelve people who had a dream of changing their state from a place that didn't even address their GLBT population in the law, good or bad, to a place the enumerated the worth of everyone.
Three years later, they're planning a conference for 200 attendees, their third, and a gala for the evening. They have legislators attending fundraisers, and plans to move beyond the dubious honor of living in one of only two states in the south without a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
I've know Dr. Coy Flowers since we were both freshmen at West Virginia University over 20 years ago. In some ways we were both there at each other's beginnings, but only he was there when Fairness WV started, so I'll let him tell the story of how Appalachia's equality movement started and grew.
Note: Apologies about the sound, but the local high school was having a homecoming dance next door. The DJ didn't do bad providing the soundtrack for a gay gathering, however incidental.
Part 2, thanks to YouTube limits:
It's a young movement, but maybe, without a constitutional amendment, we don't have quite as far to go.